Do you like scary movies? The horror genre hasn’t been the same since Ghostface asked Drew Barrymore that question in 1996. Three sequels and one TV spinoff later, the Scream franchise isn’t going anywhere.
The first Scream film debuted in December, a month usually reserved for awards contenders and family-friendly holiday fare. Even so, it became a runaway hit, and some critics credited it with revitalizing interest in horror movies.
Inspired by a real-life series of murders in Florida, Scream follows a group of high school students as they battle a mask-wearing serial killer known only as Ghostface. Barrymore, then one of the most in-demand young actresses in Hollywood, originally signed on to play the lead role of Sidney Prescott (later taken by Neve Campbell), but she switched to the much smaller part of Casey Becker after scheduling conflicts arose.
Casey famously dies in the opening of the movie, but the filmmakers saw the Never Been Kissed actress’ quick exit as a storytelling bonus. If a star as big as Barrymore could be killed off so fast, then it meant that any of the characters could end up dead at any time.
Scream also served as a welcome change of pace for Courteney Cox, who was in the midst of playing extremely nice girl Monica Geller on Friends. She was interested in playing tenacious reporter Gale Weathers to show off a different side of her range. (The Cougar Town alum reprised the role in all three sequels and is set to return for the fourth one too.)
In November 2019, a fifth Scream film — simply titled Scream — was announced. Due out in January 2022, the new installment will feature franchise regulars Cox, Campbell and David Arquette, plus newcomers Jenna Ortega, Melissa Barrera, Jack Quaid and Dylan Minnette.
The new movie will be the first entry in the franchise not directed by horror icon Wes Craven, who died in 2015. According to Cox, the 2022 Scream is so different from the others that it’s difficult to describe it as a sequel.
“These directors are incredible,” she told Barrymore in May 2021. “It’s a new franchise. It’s hip, it’s scary, it’s just a new Scream. It’s not a reboot, it’s not a remake, it’s just a brand new launch. I think it’s going to be fantastic.”
Keep scrolling for a look at where the Scream cast is now: